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Tech note, everyone – wearable technology is on the move!

We have often associated wearable technology with the fitness industry. Companies such as FitBit have produced spectacular results in this field, harnessing the ability to track and manage anything from distance run to calories burned over a certain period of time.
However, wearable tech is now leaving the wellbeing scene behind and advancing on to a period of world domination.
Advanced wearable biometrics can be used as a form of authentication for a number of things.
NEC corporation has recently adopted the software to identify people placed on ear readings – something previously unprecedented in the industry.
“The system enables biometric authentication via the otoacoustic emission, a sound made by the inner ear when the cochlea is stimulated, arising from the vibration of hair cells,” reports mobileidworld.
“According to a statement from NEC, its earbud device’s “otoacoustic authentication technology… recognizes the characteristics of a user’s ear”, suggesting that the emission is used to map the shape of the inner ear, which is presumably unique to the individual.”
The advancement of contactless, wearable technology is a clear indication of the continued progress of our industry.
The technical possibilities are endless – and NEC confirms this with future plans to commercialise the technology soon.
NEC plans to offer “services that combine individual authentication, indoor positioning, acoustic AR (augmented reality), vital sensing and other technologies”, according to NEC Business Development Division General Manager Tomonori Kumagai.
The contactless revolution has only just begun – don’t get left behind.

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Why the new £1 coin could be the last ever made as Britain moves towards a cashless society

The two-tone pound coin boasts innovative security features which supposedly make it the most secure on the planet. It is also the first UK coin in circulation since the threepenny bit to feature a design of octagonal proportions.

But despite its impressive design, there’s every chance that this will be the last £1 coin in the history of our currency.

Why?

The decline of coins and notes is not just being driven by the convenience of alternative, more high-tech payment methods – it’s also because of the simple fact that cash costs money to make!

The UK is a world leader when it comes to alternative payments. In 2015 alone, Brits spent over £21bn via contactless payments – more than any other country on the continent.

This explains why every business, from popular chains to pop-ups, know that their customers expect to be able to pay by their card, mobile, or wearable device – and over 17.m UK businesses now accept payment cards.

As if we needed any more proof that it’s time to convert to contactless and mobile payments, we now officially have it!

Get in touch with a member of our team today to identify the payment solutions that are perfect for YOUR business.

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Reasons why your Business NEEDS to make the switch to contactless payment solutions

More than just a saying or statistic, it has become reality that ‘Businesses that decline card payments are losing out’.

Sorry, we don’t take card payments’ should be a thing of the past as Britain quickly converts to a cashless society, not taking card payments should be something rarely heard of by now. Unfortunately, this is not the case just yet. 75% of all UK retail purchases are made by card; and yet still, more than two thirds of British small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) still don’t accept card payments.

With Cheaper PAY’ment solutions you can:

  • Accept Payments over the phone
  • Accept online Payments
  • Accept smart phone payments
  • Accept Chip ‘n’ Pin payments

How will these benefit your business?

  • Never miss a sale – Customers are able to buy your products anywhere at any time with secure online payments which means more sales for your business.
  • Beat your competitors – Customers are more likely to shop at a store that offers card payments.
  • Happier customers – Card payments are processed in a matter of seconds so customers can quickly continue with their day and you can get on with serving the next customer.
  • Lower bank fees – Handling less cash means fewer trips to the bank and more money back into your business.
  • More security – Extra features protect your business from fraudulent transactions and tell you immediately if a customer’s funds have not yet cleared.

Our low transaction costs are what make Cheaper Pay one of the most affordable merchant service suppliers available. Many card machine companies will charge you for a service that is designed to benefit growing businesses rather than hinder them.

At Cheaper Pay, we believe in supporting and innovating businesses with evolving technology. That is why we offer FREE quotes and a 3 months’ free trial to ensure that the payment solution you have chosen is compatible for your business.

To begin your journey to contactless payment get your free quote HERE.

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Take Payments Over the Phone

phone payments

We can help you get your business ready to take payments over the phone. Enquire today and get a free quote!

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How card payments have developed over the past decade

Over the past decade, UK consumers have adapted to the quick pace in which technology develops, including the way they pay for goods. Payments made on cards now account for 78.5% of all retail purchases, a huge increase from just 55% back in 2006!

 

2006 – 2008

One of the main reasons for this huge increase is the adoption of payment methods such as Chip and PIN and contactless, making card payments faster than using cash and allowing business owners to reduce the amount of queuing time. This benefit has led to an increase in the amount of independent businesses deciding to accept card payments of a massive 43% since 2006.

 

2008 – 2010

Consumer spending patterns continue to change to match the technology with fewer people in the UK actually carrying cash because they are quickly discovering the convenience and security of cashless payments.  There is no doubt that numerous retailers and banks are starting to see the changes in how people prefer to pay for their in-store purchases and are now more inclined to encourage customers to carry less cash and pay for smaller purchases (usually below the sum of £30) on card with ‘tap and go’ contactless payments.

 

2010 – 2015

Growth in unattended retail terminals in supermarkets, chemists and petrol stations has also boosted card use and debit cards are benefiting significantly from contactless payments, as their popularity for lower value everyday payments carries on increasing.

 

In January 2015, contactless spend in the UK totaled £287 million, rising rapidly throughout the year to reach £1.02 billion in November 2015 alone. In the same year, the number of contactless transactions carried out by consumers in Europe passed the one billion mark.

 

2016

Now that we’re in 2016, contactless mobile payment technologies, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, have given consumers more choice in the way they want to pay. According to a report, 40% of consumers with an Apple device have adopted the Apple Pay service since its launch in July 2015.

 

It is predicted that over the next ten years, consumers will continue to favour using card payments to cash. Last year, nearly half of all payments were made in cash, however it is predicted that debit cards alone will overtake cash as the most frequently-used method of payment in just five years.

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Card Payments: The Cost Of Staying Static

More and more businesses are realising the potential of adopting card payments as well as cash transactions. With debit and credit cards being used as a consumer’s preferred payment method these days, it’s no wonder that the credit card industry is booming and contactless payments are taking off as much as they are.

However, as a small business, you may be concerned about the cost of having card payments, rather than the additional profit you’ll receive overall. These fears often lead to cash-only payment transactions for many small businesses, until they can accept card payments.

But when taking a look at the overall statistics of card payments, your business is more likely to succeed in the long term than fail.

The Statistics

Roughly, small businesses and SMEs who do not accept card payments are losing out on £8.8bn profit. £52.6 billion is spent by consumers using card payments in the UK with 70% of consumers prefer card to cash. Meanwhile, 32% of UK adults would not purchase from a store that did not accept card payments.

With these alarming statistics from the general UK public, it seems likely that a small business would struggle in it’s first year by not allowing card payments, unless the product was unique enough to suggest otherwise.

The Conclusion

Long term numbers and statistics are more reliable than short-term figures and your fears. Starting a new business comes with all kinds of risks, but being prepared is the most important factor when implementing new systems. Embrace the digital age and now!

Here at CheaperPay we understand the importance of reducing the costs for your new business. This is why we’re offering 3 months FREE when you sign up with us! Contact us for more information.

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Pepare for the next generation of card payments

Paying for your shopping using your smartphone just got even easier as Mastercard expands the reach of its mobile payment app.

The humble credit and debit card may be a step closer to extinction thanks to a new announcement from Mastercard.

The company has revealed a major expansion to its Masterpass digital wallet service that will allow customers for the first time.

Going forward, Masterpass should now work seamlessly on your smartphone, wearable device or tablet, letting you pay online, in-store, or using the NFC-enabled app with just one touch.

Masterpass makes paying for goods even easier

Masterpass makes paying for goods using your smartphone even easier

Mastercard says that the new service, which links to your current account, is perfect for a wide ranges of use cases, from paying for the tube in the morning to splitting the bill at lunch and ordering your weekly shop online.

Banks will also be able to build Masterpass into their own apps, bringing together all your various digital payment methods and apps in one place.

The company says that around 80 million people around the world will be able to benefit automatically from the new service, which launches in the US today before expanding to Europe later next year.

The news comes as competition in the mobile payment market continues to increase, as big players such as Apple and Samsung throw their weight behind the technology.

Since its launch in 2014, Apple Pay has helped popularize the idea of paying for good using a mobile phone in the UK, with thousands of businesses across the country supporting the technology.

 


Moore, M. (2016) Home. Available at: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/689626/mastercard-masterpass-contactless-shopping-payment-app-nfc (Accessed: 15 July 2016).

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Selfies And Contactless Rings: New Ways To Pay

The way we pay for goods is changing. Get ready for Selfie Pay, contactless payment rings and iris scanners.

What if you could use a selfie to pay for things? How about the rhythm of your heart?

New technologies that could change the way we buy things have been shown off at the Gherkin as part of London Tech Week.

Selfie Pay takes everyone’s favourite vanity exercise and makes it useful: allowing you to authorise a transaction with your face.

The app requires you to blink so it knows you’re really there and someone isn’t using a photo of you to fraudulently authorise a transaction.

The idea is to get rid of the need for passwords, instead using biometrics: unique data based on individual characteristics like your face, eyes or fingerprint.

“If you think about passwords, they’re a standalone measure,” said Jane Khodos from MasterCard. “They’re easily lost, stolen or forgotten.

“Here you’re authenticating with what you have: your phone and also who you are.”

You could use this kind of tech to buy goods, pay for bus or train fares, or to log into your computer.

We also saw more of Nymi: a wearable wristband that can identify you by the unique rhythm of your heart, found in your electrocardiogram (ECG).

Your heart rhythm is not to be confused with your heartbeat, so the band would still work if you had just run for a bus, for example.

“We’re also very concerned about the security issues, it’s something that’s top of the mind for us,” said Amy Neal from MasterCard Labs, the company’s research and development division.

It is not just biometrics that could change payments.

Kerv is said to be the world’s first contactless payment ring: a simple piece of technology that essentially means you are wearing a contactless payment card.

Payment tech inventors emphasise that there is no need to choose just one of these products.

“You can start to bundle biometric authentication together,” says Ms Neal. “So you might have Selfie Pay, but also the electrocardiagram for additional security.

“We hear stories like people are concerned that they may have an identical twin, so what does that mean if you’re doing selfie pay?

“For us this is ensuring that we have a full suite of biometrics available.”

The Kerv ring is due out in July, Selfie Pay comes out in the UK this year and the Nymi band and iris scanner are both still in development.

 


Team, T.S. (2016) Selfies and Contactless rings: New ways to pay. Available at: http://news.sky.com/story/selfies-and-contactless-rings-new-ways-to-pay-10323052 (Accessed: 15 July 2016).

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Visa: Most People Back Biometric Payments

Majority of people want to use biometrics when making payments, with fingerprints the favoured option.

New research from Visa has revealed that a clear majority of people are in favour of combining biometrics with their payment process.

The Visa Biometric Payments study surveyed over 14,000 consumers across seven European markets. And it comes at a time when the use of biometric technology is being actively debated as a way to improve transaction security.

Safer Transactions

Biometric technology of course has been around for many years now, but thanks to some high-profile launches of late such as Apple’s TouchID system and Windows Hello, the technology is being used by more and more people.

And the Visa survey revealed that two thirds (73 percent) of people believe that two-factor authentication, where a form of biometrics is used in conjunction with a payment device (i.e. a mobile device or card reader), would make for a more secure payment authentication.

Half of people (51 percent) believe that biometrics would make payments faster and easier, and 68 percent want to use biometrics as a method of payment authentication. The survey revealed that biometrics would mostly help online retailers, as nearly a third (31 percent) of people have at some stage abandoned a browser-based purchase because of the payment security process.

And it seems that 33 percent of people appreciate the fact that biometric authentication means their details would be safe even if their device was lost or stolen.

“Biometric identification and verification has created a great deal of excitement in the payments space because it offers an opportunity to streamline and improve the customer experience,” said Jonathan Vaux, Executive Director of Innovation Partnerships. “Our research shows that biometrics is increasingly recognised as a trusted form of authentication as people become more familiar with using these capabilities on their devices.”

“Biometrics work best when linked to other factors, such as the device, geolocation technologies or with an additional authentication method,” said Vaux. “That’s why we believe that it’s important to take a holistic approach that considers a wide range of enabling technologies that contribute to a better end-to-end experience, from provisioning a card to making a purchase to checking your balance.”

What type?

Fingerprint recognition is viewed as the most favourable secure option by 81 percent of respondents. Iris scanning is backed by 76 percent of people.

But most people are comfortable with fingerprints, as 53 percent of people expressed a preference for fingerprint over other forms of biometric authentication when using it for payment. The other biometric choices such as voice or facial recognition as a payment method are much less popular.

The survey also found that 48 percent of respondents want to use biometric authentication for payments when on public transport. 47 percent want to use biometric authentication when paying at a bar or restaurant, and 46 percent want to use it to purchase goods and services on the high street at a coffee shop or fast food outlet for example. 40 percent want to use it when shopping online and 39 percent when downloading content.

Biometric Uptake

Biometric technology is seeing increasing use of late, not just because of its incorporation into mobile and computing devices.

Earlier this year HSBC launched new biometric logins for its customers. Barclays also allows some of its corporate clients and Wealth customers to log in to their accounts using a biometric reader, and also has voice recognition software, enabled for certain users, with RBS and NatWest also offering fingerprint technology to some customers.

Previous research has found that younger British consumers are the most comfortable with using biometric data to verify their accounts.

 

 


Jowitt, T. (2016) Visa: Most people back Biometric payments. Available at: http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/security/authentification/people-biometric-payments-195063 (Accessed: 15 July 2016).

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Contactless payment coming to Birmingham buses and trams

The way we pay for public transport will become a lot more straight forward.

Catching the bus in the West Midlands is about to get a lot easier.

National Express West Midlands has announced plans to fit their buses with technology to allow contactless payment.

Their 1,500 buses in the area with take payments from bank cards, smartphones, smart watches, cash and Swift cards.

Peter Coates, managing director of National Express West Midlands, said: “We know our customers want the choice of using contactless when they travel.

“Only a month ago, we introduced it on the Midland Metro and already 7% of passengers buying a ticket on board are using contactless.

“So, as part of our pledge to the West Midlands Bus Alliance to get more people travelling by bus, we are investing in contactless because it makes journeys quicker and easier for passengers.”

The new technology will appear first on buses in Coventry by the end of the year before coming to Birmingham and the rest of the West Midlands over the following two years.

It is predicted to speed up bus journeys because passengers will spend less time buying a ticket at bus stops.

A report into the effects of congestion on bus passengers recently said: “If London-style cashless buses with contactless payment and smart ticketing could be extended to the rest of the UK, bus journey times could be improved by up to 10% by halving dwell time at bus stops.

Soon you will be able to pay your bus fare with your debit card.

“In urban conditions, dwell time makes up between 25% and 33% of total journey time. The big five bus operators in the UK have set a target to introduce contactless bus transactions by 2022.

“They should do everything possible to accelerate this, and it is realistic for them to achieve this goal in the large conurbations within three years.”

 


Beardsworth, L. (2016) When will contactless payment be available on Birmingham buses?Available at: http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/contactless-payment-coming-birmingham-buses-11609505 (Accessed: 14 July 2016).

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Festival-goers snap up contactless technology as Qpal launches

QPAL, an Aberdeen-based start-up that has created an innovative technology solution for the events industry, officially launched on Saturday with its first successful deployment at a music and ale festival near Edinburgh.

Aiming to enhance event experiences for both organisers and attendees, Qpal is bringing its innovative web application, which enables efficient, smart and cashless payments via contactless technology, to the UK events industry.
Craig Buchan, founder and managing director of Qpal, comments: “The Qpal team is thrilled to officially launch after the first full deployment of our technology at the inaugural Hops in the Garden event, which took place near North Berwick.

“We developed this solution with the core aims of reducing queue times, increasing revenues, and giving event organisers access to real-time data – with the overarching mission of boosting and enriching live events for everyone involved. This is exactly what we achieved at Hops in the Garden, and we are set to do the same at upcoming events across the country.

“We were delighted to work alongside an early adopter of the Qpal technology, who fully embraced what we are trying to bring to the industry, and bought into our vision.”

Ian Stokes, manager of Hops in the Garden, adds: “From initially meeting the Qpal team, we knew this unique solution would be a great fit for our event. As our venue is relatively isolated with no cash machine on-site, Qpal was the perfect solution to ensure our attendees could easily purchase food and drink throughout the festival.”

The Qpal technology allows event attendees to load cash onto a branded card, and use its contactless technology to quickly and easily make payments throughout an event. This eliminates the need for cash or token systems, which are currently used across the events industry, and brings about a whole host of benefits to event organisers and attendees alike.

Ian continues: “We plan to host Hops in the Garden again next year, so the access to the data analytics is invaluable, enabling us to make key decisions based on a better understanding of our customers and their purchasing behaviour.

“We wish Craig and his team all the best for the future, and thank them for helping us to deliver a better event experience.”

In February this year, Qpal was accepted onto the exclusive 12-week Accelerator Programme in Aberdeen, which is run by Elevator UK, a business support organisation and centre of entrepreneurship based in Aberdeen.

 


 

Festival-goers snap up contactless technology as Qpal launches, via: http://www.scotsman.com/news/festival-goers-snap-up-contactless-technology-as-qpal-launches-1-4175705 (Read 13/07/2016)

 

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Apple Pay is coming to the web – but there’s a catch

Apple Pay will soon be available on in browsers on macOS and iOS, but payments will still have to be authenticated on an iPhone.

Following months of rumours, Apple has confirmed it is launching Apple Pay on the web.

The feature was unveiled at the annual Worldwide Developer Conference and will let you pay for goods through Safari on macOS and iOS. Payments will still need to be authenticated using a fingerprint-enabled iPhone or the Apple Watch.

When customers are browsing on supported websites – such as Crate and Barrel and lululemon – an Apple Pay button will appear. It will work in a similar way to Apple Pay on apps.

Previously, to use Apple Pay iPhone users could store their card details into the contactless system and use NFC to tap and pay for goods in participating stores. Alternatively, they could use Apple Pay to buy items on selected iPhone apps.

Today’s announcement expands this to the web. People shopping on a website on a Mac, or via Safari on their phones, will get a notification on their iPhone to confirm the transaction, which this is done using TouchID.

 

Apple Pay will be limited to £20 until September, when payments up to £30 will be allowed

Apple Pay will be limited to £20 until September, when payments up to £30 will be allowed

This means users won’t have to manually enter credit card information on individual websites or store them online when buying goods because the payment – and security – is routed through the Apple Pay system.

The new features are due to start rolling out to the UK and US countries “soon” and WIRED has contacted Apple to get more information and details of supporting websites.

Apple Pay launched in the UK last year and brought the contactless payment system to stores including Boots, Costa, Lidl, Marks & Spencer and Nando’s.

More than 250,000 shops across the UK now accept Apple Pay, with Transport for London also supporting the payment method on its network. The UK was the second country to get Apple Pay after the service launched in the USA in October 2014.

 


Woollaston, V. (2016) Apple pay is coming to the web – but there’s a catch. Available at: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/apple-pay-web (Accessed: 12 July 2016).

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Contactless payments in vogue for Barclaycard and Topshop accessories

News: Card payments on the increase as mobile and contactless take off.

Barclaycard and Topshop have teamed up on a range of contactless payment accessories.

The NFC-enabled bracelets, phone cases and keychains come as part of the bPay collection that was launched in 2014.

Users that have a UK registered Visa or MasterCard, debit or credit card will be able to add funds to their digital wallet using a mobile app, online through the bPay web site, or set up an automatic top-up, which will add funds to their balance one it falls below a pre-set level.

The accessories contain a bPay chip by Barclaycard that links to the digital wallet.

Britain is clearly a big fan of contactless payments and paying by card instead of cash, with rising online and contactless transactions increasing spending on debit and credit cards by 10% to £660 billion in 2015.

Online card spending increased by 20% to £210 billion from £175bn in 2014, this means that almost a third of plastic spending takes place on the internet. Paying by mobile is also on the increase with half of online spending taking place on tablets and smartphones, up from 37% in 2014, according to figures from the UK Cards Association show.

Contactless payments are also on the increase, partly thanks to the increase in the payment limit to £30 and nearly half of all cards issues now having contactless capabilities. In 2015 £7.75bn was spent via tap and pay, compared to £2.32bn in 2014.

Graham Peacop, CEO, UK Cards Association, said: “With the amount spent using contactless cards almost trebling between 2014 and 2015 and the payment limit increasing to £30, it is clear 2015 was the year contactless went mainstream.

“Whether buying a sandwich on the go, or paying for a round of drinks or a tube journey, contactless has become the default way people choose to pay for every day shopping.”

 


Nunns, C.J. (2016) Contactless payments in vogue for Barclaycard and Topshop accessories. Available at: http://www.cbronline.com/news/internet-of-things/consumer/contactless-payments-in-vogue-for-barclaycard-and-topshop-accessories-4919256 (Accessed: 8 July 2016).

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Barclaycard bPay turns watches contactless

Barclaycard is expanding its bPay contactless payments range through the introduction of a small case that can be attached to watches and fitness bands.

The bPay Loop is a silicon case containing an NFC chip that can be slid onto the strap of watches and fitness bands with open buckles.

Launched in 2014 bPay is available to anyone with a UK-registered Visa or MasterCard, debit or credit card, not just Barclaycard and Barclays customers. Users add funds to their digital wallet on-the-go using a mobile app, online through the bPay web portal, or set up an automatic top-up which adds funds when their balance falls below a pre-set level.

Bpay was initially launched as a wristband and is also available as a sticker and fob, with over 100,000 products sold. Barclaycard says that the latest Loop version comes in response to customer demand for a way to add payment functionality to wearables people already own.

Available to buy online for £19.99, Barclaycard has also teamed up with Swiss watch maker Mondaine and fitness tech outfit Garmin to offer Loop to those purchasing selected items from both brands.

Tami Hargreaves, commercial director, digital consumer payments, Barclaycard, says: “Thanks to the huge growth we are seeing in contactless payments, we are increasingly becoming accustomed to being able to make low-value payments throughout the day, in a quick, easy, convenient way. Loop makes that easier than ever.”


Finextra (2016) Barclaycard bPay turns watches contactless. Available at: https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/29140/barclaycard-bpay-turns-watches-contactless (Accessed: 7 July 2016).